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Bitwise Industries & Calbright Partner to Launch Tech Apprenticeships For Underserved

November 16th, 2022 by

Fresno, Calif., Nov. 16, 2022 – Today, Bitwise Industries (www.bitwiseindustries.com) announced its partnership with Calbright College (https://www.calbright.org), California’s first statewide online community college focused on workforce development training, to launch an apprenticeship program that will support historically underrepresented, underserved individuals in California. This program will support the upward economic mobility of Calbright’s diverse student body and close equity gaps for those without access to traditional educational routes. 

“This partnership aligns with our mission of providing pathways to high wage, high growth quality tech jobs through training of in-demand skills,” said Michelle Skoor, Chief Workforce Officer, Bitwise Industries. “This type of collaboration is an example of how organizations across sectors can directly invest into creating a diverse and equitable workforce with underserved individuals.”

The 12 month apprenticeship program will provide disenfranchised communities with paid opportunities that offer workforce training, education and employment in designated tech disciplines such as Salesforce and Information Technology Support. 

Calbright, through its workforce development programs in IT Support and Salesforce Administration, will provide pre-apprenticeship training and the program will place graduates under the direction of Bitwise senior level developers, providing hands-on experience with real work projects. 

“This newly minted partnership will leverage the proven Bitwise Industries model that supports historically underserved individuals with earn-while-they-learn apprenticeships and wraparound services that remove all the barriers to participating in the digital economy,” said Michael Younger, Vice President, Workforce, Strategy, and Innovation, Calbright College. “92% of Calbright’s students are at least 25 years old, and more than 70% identify as a member of the BIPOC community – often the populations we serve can’t afford to stop working to invest in their own education. But Bitwise’s approach has shown over the last decade that if given the opportunity, disadvantaged people can change the trajectory of their lives with the skills employers are looking for right now.”

Bitwise Industries has trained over 10,000 individuals from underestimated communities, 80% of whom have gone on to find technical employment. This accounts for over a quarter of a billion dollars in aggregated wages being distributed to individuals historically under-represented in the tech industry, mostly women and people of color. On an individual level, the average person entering a Bitwise training program is earning $20K a year, and upon completion, earns over $60K a year.

“This collaboration brings together two of California’s mission-aligned entities to support residents of the state, nurture a vibrant economy, and advance a key component of Governor Newsom’s ambitious workforce strategy to expand the state’s apprenticeship system,” said Ajita Talwalker Menon, President and CEO, Calbright College. “Our students are parents, struggling with unemployment, and/or working multiple jobs to make ends meet. Bitwise Industries and Calbright’s investments will provide a vehicle to upskill adult learners, further align the needs of industry and higher education, and advance the development of quality tech talent and jobs in fast-growing and underestimated areas of the state.”

For more information about Bitwise Industries and to read the latest company news, please visit our website at: www.bitwiseindustries.com  

For more information about Calbright College and to read the latest company news, please visit our website at: www.calbright.org

Calbright students and alumni who would like to learn more about this program: please email  the College’s Workforce Development team at [email protected].

About Bitwise Industries

Bitwise Industries creates a bridge between humans from marginalized communities and stories of systemic poverty to skills and resources necessary to access opportunities in the tech industry. By leveraging public-private partnerships, Bitwise provides paid apprenticeships to students to learn tech skills, connects them to meaningful tech opportunities, and builds vibrant buildings in underestimated cities to house their work. By upskilling disenfranchised humans, it empowers them to change their own lives—which ignites and transforms the regional economies of the cities in which Bitwise serves.
Bitwise has raised more than $100M in support of this important work; expanded its model to serve nine cities (Fresno, Bakersfield, Merced, Oakland, Las Cruces, Greeley, El Paso, Buffalo and Toledo); and built a tech apprenticeship engine that will drive national jobs/economic recovery in 2022 and beyond. To learn more about Bitwise Industries, check out www.bitwiseindustries.com.

About Calbright College

Calbright College is the California Community Colleges system’s first statewide and fully-digital college. Focused on workforce development, Calbright offers a competency-based education model and is designed to meet the needs of working adults across the state who seek to transition to a new career and/or gain new skills to support their growth and professional opportunity in a rapidly evolving economy.
Founded in 2018 by the California State Legislature, the College opened for enrollment in October 2019 and offers skills-based workforce development certificate programs. To learn more, visit www.calbright.org

Bitwise Industries Selects Downtown Las Cruces Building to Develop Local Tech Ecosystem

October 25th, 2022 by

Bitwise Industries Selects Downtown Las Cruces Building to Develop Local Tech Ecosystem

October 4th, 2022 by

Las Cruces, NM. Oct. 4, 2022 – Today, Bitwise Industries (www.bitwiseindustries.com) announced it has partnered with local investors to acquire  201 N. Church St. Las Cruces, NM 88001, overlooking the popular Plaza de Las Cruces, as the home to its local operations in the city. Earlier this year Bitwise announced its expansion into Las Cruces and this latest development demonstrates the company’s continued commitment to provide tech services to the area, while developing a locally grown tech workforce. The new building is expected to house the full breadth of the Bitwise ecosystem as well as serve as a space for mission aligned companies and people to find community.

“We are happy to announce our permanent location and begin building the local Bitwise presence. We hope that this space will allow us to impact the lives of people in Las Cruces who may not have seen tech as a career option, but could benefit from the high growth, high wage jobs the industry provides,” said Amy Thelen, Senior Vice President of City Expansions, Bitwise Industries. “Our model brings new tech jobs to underserved communities and this building gives us a local base to begin providing access to those opportunities.”

Construction of the 45,217 sq ft space will begin this year and be completed in the next two years. The building will be modeled on existing Bitwise locations and will likely offer: reservable conference rooms, private office space for lease (including current tenants), daycare services, murals from local artists, classrooms for tech training, a coffee/juice bar, spaces for community gatherings and more. 

“I appreciate Bitwise and how they will not only train our future workforce through technology, but these team members will also receive a competitive salary while they learn; what an incredible opportunity!” – Kenneth Miyagishima, Mayor, City of Las Cruces.

“For nearly a year, since Bitwise first announced its move to Las Cruces, the company has been offering local workforce training programs online and this decision to locate their operations in the heart of downtown highlights their desire to support economic growth in the region,” said Brad Beasley, CPA. “Big changes are coming and with the technology industry evolving, there is no better time for this expansion into Las Cruces. The location is the perfect spot for people to gather and the tech scene to take root.”

Bitwise Industries has renovated over 1M square feet in previously vacant, blighted historical spaces within underestimated cities across the country. The company has trained over 10,000 individuals to date, 80% who’ve found technical employment after completion. This accounts for over a-quarter-of-a-billion-dollars in aggregated wages mostly going to women and people of color. Bitwise spaces unite communities, while spurring economic and business growth through digital transformation.

“We are very excited to welcome Bitwise to Las Cruces and the investment they are making in our downtown,” said Davin Lopez, President & CEO of the Mesilla Valley Economic Development Alliance.    “Their innovative apprenticeship program to train, grow, and employ local high-tech talent will not only provide new career opportunities for our residents but will additionally foster an ecosystem that is attractive to future companies looking at our region for growth.”

For more information about Bitwise Industries or to sign up to take online classes while development of building continues, please visit our website at: www.bitwiseindustries.com  

About Bitwise Industries

Bitwise Industries creates a bridge between humans from marginalized communities and stories of systemic poverty to skills and resources necessary to access opportunities in the tech industry. By leveraging public-private partnerships, Bitwise provides paid apprenticeships to students to learn tech skills, connects them to meaningful tech opportunities, and builds vibrant buildings in underestimated cities to house their work. By upskilling disenfranchised humans, it empowers them to change their own lives—which ignites and transforms the regional economies of the cities in which Bitwise serves.
Bitwise has raised more than $100M in support of this important work; expanded its model to serve ten cities (California cities: Fresno, Bakersfield, Merced, and Oakland, Toledo, OH, Buffalo, NY, El Paso, TX, Greeley, CO, Las Cruces, NM, and Cheyenne, WY); and built a tech apprenticeship engine that will drive national jobs/economic recovery in 2022. To learn more about Bitwise Industries, check out www.bitwiseindustries.com.

Bitwise Industries Announces Five-State National Expansion, Investing Millions Toward Solving Generational Poverty

August 30th, 2022 by

Fresno, Calif., Mar. 30, 2022 – Today, Bitwise Industries (www.bitwiseindustries.com) announced massive nationwide expansion, adding locations in five new states: New York, Texas, Colorado, New Mexico, and Wyoming. This rapid growth further validates Bitwise Industries’ proven model of providing pathways into the technology industry for people coming from stories of poverty and/or exclusion. After raising over $100M in venture capital, Bitwise is now located in 9 cities across the country which include the California cities of: Fresno, Bakersfield, Merced, Oakland, Toledo, OH, Buffalo, NY, El Paso, TX, Greeley, CO, and Las Cruces, NM.

“We started Bitwise Industries nearly a decade ago with the hope of helping our local community and since then, Bitwise has positively impacted thousands of lives, driven economic growth in underestimated cities, and is creating the tech workforce of the future,” said Jake Soberal, CEO and co-founder, Bitwise Industries. “Our goal is to bring our proven, repeatable approach to as many communities and people as possible. What has been successful in our first five cities, will become part of these new regions’ stories of how investing in underestimated people and places can create a more inclusive and representative economy.” 

Bitwise Industries uses its unique two-sided marketplace approach to drive outcomes and growth. The company teaches people the skills they need to access opportunities in the tech economy–ranging from Salesforce administration to web development–and hires many of those trainees to build enterprise technology solutions for customers as a part of Bitwise Technology Consulting.

As such, training drives both individual transformation for the trainee and commercial scale for Bitwise. Customers and partners can work with Bitwise in purchasing talent pipelines or technology solutions. Bitwise surrounds students and companies with inspiring technology hubs in Bitwise cities, supportive amenities, and programming. Trainees have access to a robust set of non-technical resources like counseling, transportation, and childcare.

Today Bitwise operates one of the largest federally accredited apprenticeship programs in the country, which enables it to pay Bitwise apprentices to learn. It has trained over 8,000 non-traditional tech students in its Workforce Training program, with 80 percent of job seekers going on to earn technical employment. This accounts for  $295M in aggregate wages being paid to mostly women and people of color. The average student enters our program making less than $20,000 a year and upon exit goes on to positions that make more than $60,000 a year.

On the heels of Bitwise’s Series B announcement in 2021, the company has doubled in size, doubled in revenue, and hit record numbers in individuals enrolled in their Workforce Training programs. Through its Enterprise Technology Consulting, Bitwise builds demand for digital solutions and develops custom software for local organizations, while bringing thousands of jobs to each expansion city that supports the training of a new fleet of diverse tech workers.

“As we expand across the country we look forward to supercharging our efforts with the cities we currently serve and getting started in new communities,” said Irma Olguin Jr., CEO and co-founder, Bitwise Industries. “Bitwise is a vehicle that has transformed lives, and cities. We look forward to helping more people left out of the digital economy to find financial independence and stability through increased employment opportunities, while bringing government digital infrastructure into the modern era with world-class software developed by the overlooked people we train and hire.”

In each city that it serves, Bitwise renovates blighted historical buildings, creates a technology hub and houses its operations at the city’s urban core to bring back life to the area. The company has already transformed a combined total of nearly a million square feet of downtown commercial space and will continue to do the same in new cities.

“With this expansion, the demonstrated impact of Bitwise Industries can now be shared with millions more underrepresented people across the country,” said Mitchell Kapor, Partner at Kapor Capital. “Bitwise is expanding economic opportunities to reach the most vulnerable by creating accessible and attainable pathways to quality jobs.”

“What began as the Founders’ dream to encourage and train underrepresented people in their hometown of Fresno, CA for jobs in the ever growing tech economy Bitwise Industries, has blossomed into a unique and proven scalable model,” said Paula Pretlow, Independent Board Director at Bitwise Industries. “Bitwise is truly making a difference, not only in the lives of those who are gaining skills and employment in tech, but also in the cities where it operates and arguably, the nation as a whole.”

Bitwise Industries is supported by an outstanding roster of investors that include: Kapor Capital, Motley Fool Ventures, JP Morgan, ZOMA Capital, Candide Group, Gingerbread Capital, Promedica, M&T Bank, 43North Foundation, Acumen America, and the New Voices Fund. 

About Bitwise Industries

Bitwise Industries creates a bridge between humans from marginalized communities and stories of systemic poverty to skills and resources necessary to access opportunities in the tech industry. By leveraging public-private partnerships, Bitwise provides paid apprenticeships to students to learn tech skills, connects them to meaningful tech opportunities, and builds vibrant buildings in underestimated cities to house their work. By upskilling disenfranchised humans, it empowers them to change their own lives—which ignites and transforms the regional economies of the cities in which Bitwise serves.

Bitwise has raised more than $100M in support of this important work; expanded its model to serve ten cities (California cities: Fresno, Bakersfield, Merced, and Oakland, Toledo, OH, Buffalo, NY, El Paso, TX, Greeley, CO, and Las Cruces, NM); and built a tech apprenticeship engine that will drive national jobs/economic recovery in 2022. To learn more about Bitwise Industries, check out www.bitwiseindustries.com.

Bitwise Industries Announces Acquisition of Stria, Reinforcing a Growing Portfolio of Diverse Companies Nationwide

August 16th, 2022 by

Bakersfield, Calif. August 16, 2022 – Today, Bitwise Industries (www.bitwiseindustries.com) announced the acquisition of Stria, a digital transformation company and DocuSign partner based in Bakersfield, CA. Stria streamlines processes by delivering technology-enabled business solutions. This latest acquisition supports Bitwise Industries’ growing portfolio of tech companies, while highlighting its commitment to the Bakersfield area. This marks the third strategic acquisition for Bitwise this year.

“We are excited to continue expanding our footprint in Bakersfield. This acquisition not only highlights our commitment to advancing established local companies through digital transformation, but our goal of developing a thriving technology hub in Kern County,” said Natasha Felkins, VP of Bakersfield, Bitwise Industries. “This latest addition to  the companies under the Bitwise banner will continue to power businesses across the nation, and here locally with digital solutions.” 

Founded in 2005 by CEO, Jim Damian, Stria has been headquartered in Bakersfield, CA for the past 17 years, converting hundreds of millions of physical documents to fully searchable, optical character recognition (OCR) digital images. Stria has five times appeared on the annual Inc.’s 5000 list, as one of the fastest growing, privately held companies in the United States.

“Over the past decade Stria has brought  tens of millions of dollars to the Kern County economy. As we enter this new chapter, we are happy that Bitwise Industries, a company just as committed to serving our region’s businesses, is now our parent company,” said Jim Damian, owner, Stria. “Stria will continue to service clients throughout the U.S. with the same management and services, and will continue to positively impact the lives and livelihoods of the Bakersfield area.”

“Stria is a homegrown success.  Their track record as an innovator and driver of local growth is as unique as it is impressive.  The acquisition of Stria by Bitwise shows how committed Bitwise remains to spurring additional economic advancement for the areas in which they operate,” said Bakersfield City Councilmember Andrae Gonzales. “I look forward to great things happening as a result of this exciting news.”

Bitwise Industries provides technology services to partners across sectors and powers that work through the skilled tech workforce developed through its tech training programs.The company has supported the training of over 8,000 students, with 80 percent finding technical employment following the program. The average person entering a Bitwise training program is earning $20K a year, and upon completion, earns over $60K a year. This work has resulted in over a quarter of a billion dollars in aggregated wages being distributed to individuals historically under-represented in the tech industry, mostly women and people of color. 

For more information about Bitwise Industries and to read the latest company news, please visit our website at: www.bitwiseindustries.com 

About Bitwise Industries

Bitwise Industries creates a bridge between humans from marginalized communities and stories of systemic poverty to skills and resources necessary to access opportunities in the tech industry. By leveraging public-private partnerships, Bitwise provides paid apprenticeships to students to learn tech skills, connects them to meaningful tech opportunities, and builds vibrant buildings in underestimated cities to house their work. By upskilling disenfranchised humans, it empowers them to change their own lives—which ignites and transforms the regional economies of the cities in which Bitwise serves.
Bitwise has raised more than $100M in support of this important work; expanded its model to serve nine cities (California cities of Fresno, Bakersfield, Merced, Oakland, Toledo, OH, Buffalo, NY, El Paso, TX, Greeley, CO, Las Cruces, NM); and built a tech apprenticeship engine that will drive national jobs/economic recovery in 2022. To learn more about Bitwise Industries, check out www.bitwiseindustries.com.

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